Saturday, November 27, 2021

Die Wilden Kerle 5 – review

Director: Joachim Masannek

Release date: 2008

Contains spoilers  

This is a German film aimed towards a younger audience and concerns itself with the Wild Soccer Bunch. It is the 5th in the series of films (and, from what I can gather, there is also a sixth film but with a different cast). This is the only film in the series I’ve watched.

This film takes place in what might have been a post-apocalyptic setting but apparently (according to IMDb) is in the Shadow Realm (whatever that might be). From what I can gather the earliest films were real world set – but this has clearly been eschewed.

Vanessa makes the volley

It starts with Vanessa (Sarah Kim Gries) and Raban (Raban Bieling) playing volleys in the forest, whilst kicking the ball at full power and running to make the volley. They hit the record as Raban notices his belt buckle glowing red – a warning of vampires nearby apparently. He looks into a knot hole in a tree but sees nothing – we see a figure within, later revealed to be the vampire Darkside (Marvin Unger). They return and Raban warns the rest of the companions. Vanessa doesn’t take it seriously and goes off with Leon (Jimi Blue Ochsenknecht), looking to beat the volley record again.

Blossom and Darkside

They fail to break the record – the last kick ending up in a lake. They both go in after it but Leon vanishes and then Vanessa is pulled under… They both surface, her mad at the trick. However, as night falls and they build a camp fire they reveal and pledge their love for each other. Meanwhile we have seen the bark of two tree trunks open as Darkside and Blossom (Paula Schramm) emerge. He tells her that she must take Leon and Vanessa must come to him willingly.

searching the Shadow Realm

In the morning the rest of the gang, having checked necks, go looking for Vanessa and Leon – only she is there. They saddle up their vehicles (mostly motorcycles but a car/motorised cart for the youngest two) and go looking for him – eventually reaching what looks like an abandoned industrial complex (with burning gas jets at the gates). The passage of time isn’t suggested but, later, we discover they have been searching for 10 months. Ignoring the warnings of a mysterious figure, who says Leon is dead, they go searching and end up trapped in the vampires’ lair – and there are several of them – at least 1 for each remaining member of the squad and known collectively as the Shadow Seekers.

Darkside and Vanessa

After a “3D” football match, which they lose, the humans are taken off and forced to change from their Mad Max-esque gear into a more New Romantic look for a feast. The vampires are looking to seduce the squad and Vanessa does give herself over to Darkside and is bitten (and turned – one bite turns) the others, bar one, escape, though one of the escapees Maxi (Marlon Wessel) has been bitten by Blossom (not fully, but enough to ‘plant a seed’). They need to work out how to get their friends back. The mysterious person has a cannon that can suction sun plasma and fire it but you can bet the solution will involve a football rematch.

fangs on show

Lore-wise, garlic and crosses do not work. The reason for the seductions is that drinking the blood of a person the vampire loves and who loves them in return will give then 100 years of life. Darkside finds that those he bites fall out of love with him as soon as they turn (Blossom did and Vanessa does also). However there is rumour of a cure – Leon did turn and walked into the sun to find Vanessa (the sun turning him into a statue), he holds a scroll that says if she kisses his statue form in the first light of the day he will be turned back to human (and cease to be a statue). Darkside suggest it is nothing but a fairy tale. The vampires are drawn as beautiful (bar two very young vampires) with Darkside especially sporting a beauty bordering on androgyny, with a rock star edge (and he does like to strum a guitar).

charging the solar plasma gun

The characters and background were somewhat confused as I had not seen the first four films. However the characters were drawn broad brush and a casual viewer could work out the general relationships and motivations. The setting was something you just had to accept. There was a lack of more violent solutions to the vampires (staking is never mentioned and sunlight is a tame death) as this is a children’s film. But, you know what, it had some unusual lore, it followed its own broadcasted internal logic and it looked rather nice. 5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On DVD @ Amazon US

On DVD @ Amazon UK

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